NOW Pressures Senate for Ratification of CEDAW
Sciammacco, Christina, National NOW Times
Women's Rights are Human Rights
Almost 20 years after the First World Conference on Women, the United States has still failed to ratify the most comprehensive human rights treaty addressing international women's rights -- the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
"It is embarrassing that the United States, a proclaimed leader in human rights advocacy, has not yet ratified CEDAW," said Karen Johnson, Vice President Membership. "This is one more backlash to the women's rights movement."
The U.S. is the only industrialized democracy that has not yet ratified CEDAW, placing us in company with countries such as Sudan and Afghanistan.
CEDAW promotes women's rights and recognizes gender discrimination as a global problem. The treaty obligates ratifying countries to establish measures to ensure the full development and advancement of women in all civil, political, economic and cultural arenas. The Convention also creates committees to monitor reports of progress in the treatment of women by its adherents.
CEDAW has made substantial improvements for women in countries including Japan, Brazil, Sri Lanka and Zambia. The impact of CEDAW in these countries and others has helped women gain political office, equal employment opportunities and child care programs.
On International Women's Day in March, President Clinton reaffirmed the importance of U.S. ratification of CEDAW, sending a letter to the Senate leadership which stated that "obtaining Senate advice and consent to the ratification of CEDAW is a top Administration priority during this session of Congress. …